Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki considers it necessary to host an additional contingent of US troops and establish a long-term NATO base in Poland, he told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview.
Morawiecki commented on the need to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank. In his opinion, the US should not weaken its military presence in Poland or in Germany. “It’s not a question of ‘one or the other’. We need a NATO base in Ramstein (Germany), and we need a new NATO base in Poland,” he said.
The Polish PM also criticized Germany for failing to meet the NATO military spending goal of 2% of the GDP. “I wouldn’t call Germany a free-rider, but its contributions do not meet the obligations. It should quickly increase its defense expenditure,” he remarked. Morawiecki drew attention to the fact that Poland spends more than 2% of its GDP on defense.
In November 2018 it was reported that nine NATO member states had increased their defense spending to 2% of their GDPs. Poland reached this level in 2017. In February 2019, US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell urged Germany to reach the 2% target by 2024 in light of the “Russian threat”.
Warsaw has already put forward an initiative to have a US military base in Poland in order to “restrain Russia’s reinforced and dangerous position”. The Polish government said that it could allocate $2 billion to such a base.